Okay, already! This is for all you people who felt I wimped out by going home early from last week’s camping trip. I went camping again last night, and (drum roll, please) I actually stayed all night! (applause, cheering) I went to a different state park than last week. Weather-wise, it was much cooler – which was nice. I had bought an air mattress — a nice one — and a rechargeable pump to inflate it. And what a good night’s sleep I got! It was wonderful! I set up camp quickly, built a roaring fire and enjoyed a very pleasant evening. Paw-Paw drove over and spent a couple hours sitting around the campfire and talking with me. That certainly made it more enjoyable than being there by myself. We had to move our chairs to one side of the campfire to get out of the smoke — and that put us where we faced the bathhouse across the path. We laughed about what a beautiful view we had from the campsite – could brag about it after we got back home. We talked about going camping in the Smokey Mountains – backpacking. I don’t know that I’m ready to do that kind of camping yet. I DO enjoy being able to sleep comfortably, and I’m not sure I could carry in a backpack all the equipment I’d need to ensure that! We decided we’d do more car camping for awhile and then do wilderness camping later.
I had hoped that Stinkeroo would bring Sweet Stuff and Sunshine over for awhile. I thought they’d enjoy roasting marshmallows over the fire and seeing the tent. However, Sunshine has been having a difficult time with asthma, and Stinkeroo felt the cold air and smoke would make it worse. Poor Sunshine — it’s so bad, the doctor wants Stinkeroo to call their office EVERY morning to give them an update on how she’s doing — breathing treatments regularly throughout the day, along with medication.
Tonight is another birthday party. Meah’s birthday was Friday — 26 years old. Her parents were in town and they all went out to eat to celebrate. So tonight is our family’s turn to celebrate with her. She and Scalawag, along with Stinkeroo, SD, Sweet Stuff, Sunshine, and PawPaw will come over to my house later this evening for dinner. Meah requested chicken and dumplings for dinner, and coconut cake for dessert. I don’t need a recipe for the chicken and dumplings, but I will have to look up a recipe for the coconut cake. Sweet Stuff hasn’t designated yet what kind of party we will have. With her fixation on princesses, it is highly likely that Meah will have a princess party.
(Note from much later) Poor Meah – I didn’t have time to make a homemade coconut cake – I had to unpack all the camping stuff and do some straightening up first. So I bought one. I sure hope it’s good. Then, I make chicken and dumplings quite often, but THIS time, for some reason, the dumplings started dissolving in the chicken stock rather than keeping their shape. Now it’s in a big crock pot, and hopefully it won’t be chicken paste by the time dinner rolls around. I anticipate that this meal will definitely NOT be one of my better ones. C’est la vie. They’re family, and it’s a free meal. It’s the fellowship and the intent behind the meal that counts… Right? I’m sure my throngs of readers will await anxiously for word later this evening as to how the dinner went.
(Note from much, MUCH later – after dinner) Okay – the chicken and dumplings turned out pretty darn good after all! Yea! Enough of the dumplings held their shape — and the ones that dissolved just made the stock really thick. So it turned out well, and I made enough to have some for lunch a couple days this week. Now the coconut cake — can’t say it turned out that well — it was mediocre at best. Maybe I’m wrong, though, because everybody — even the girls — ate some of it. I didn’t realize that everyone on my little branch of the family tree likes coconut cake. So I promised to make a homemade coconut cake the next time we get together — except when I said that, Stinkeroo and Meah both said they wanted an apple pie instead. OK — that’s enough written about that one meal.